LIMA — While some people walked in alone, they left with a sense of unity for their country, city, county and family.
The 67th annual National Day of Prayer was held at the UNOH Event Center in Lima Thursday afternoon.
Pastors and lay leaders led the crowd in prayers on a variety of issues including the unborn, Israel, repentance, the opioid crisis, the military, youth and schools, our president and national leaders as well as city and county leaders.
Allen County Commissioner Cory Noonan read a quote from Martin Luther King and Jay Begg read a quote from Rutherford B. Hayes’ Inaugural Address of 1877. City council woman Rebecca Kreher led a prayer for the city, county and state leaders, citing those in power are servants to the people.
Businessman Doug Stimmel prayed for the businesses in the region while Chief Kevin Martin prayed for first responders.
During the event all heads were bowed and hands were up, lifting prayers to the Lord. Shouts of “Amen” and “Hallelujah” were heard throughout the various prayers.
Youth from Temple Christian Elementary School Choir sang songs, and Alicia Green Arseneau brought people to their feet as she sang “What a Beautiful Name.”
For the Allen County event coordinator, Theresa Lee, seeing the crowd participate in praying and singing was a wonderful but not unusual sight during the National Day of Prayer events.
”We can really touch every avenue. When I look at the prayer, not just to bring our pastors together, but it’s like the door opens, Lord we need you in our marriages, Lord we need you in our government, don’t stay out, come in and do something about the opioid crisis, and if we open the door He can come in and make a change,” said Lee.
Pastor Brandon Green, of Calvary Chapel of Praise, asked in his prayer to “restore religious freedom from the White House to the school house and shed grace on the United States of America.”
The podium held pastors from a variety of churches.
“As I looked around the table at the task force that prepares it, I said ‘Well, it’s no wonder.’ All of us are from a different church as well. We have this common cause. We can come together on this day and see the rich benefit we have in our leadership across this city and county,” said Lee.
Pastor Steve Wash, of Lima Convention Center Church, prayed for the unity of races.
“Today is awesome. There’s an excitement in the room. We are not one church, one denomination, because this is the church,” said Wash, pointing at the crowd. “Great and mighty things will happen.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, the crowd stood and sang “God Bless America,” a proper ending for a universal theme of unity.
A second prayer meeting was planned for Wednesday evening at the City Club in Lima. Other National Day of Prayer events taking place included Auglaize County holding its program at the Wapakoneta Fire Department; Bluffton holding a ceremony at Town Hall; Ottawa holding its event at the Putnam County Courthouse; the Van Wert County Ministerial Association holding an event at the Van Wert County Courthouse; and a special chapel service was held at Ohio Northern University in Ada.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.